Militants stoking sectarian rift: Rehman Malik

Published: September 4, 2010
Pro-Taliban Pakistani militants are trying to fuel a sectarian rift, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.

Pro-Taliban Pakistani militants are trying to fuel a sectarian rift, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.

ISLAMABAD: Pro-Taliban Pakistani militants are trying to fuel a sectarian rift, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday, as a new wave of violence piled pressure on a government already struggling with a flood crisis.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for bomb attacks on two Shi’ite rallies that killed nearly 90 people in the cities of Quetta and Lahore in the past three days. The attacks ended a lull after devastating floods which affected 20 million people.

Pakistani officials had said before the attacks that any major violence at such a difficult time was likely to cause deep popular resentment against the militants.

On Friday, the Taliban also threatened to launch attacks in the United States and Europe “very soon”, two days after the Washington added the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to its list of “foreign terrorist organisations”.

Malik said after taking a beating in their strongholds in the country’s northwest in a string of military offensives, al Qaeda-linked militants were adding a religious colour to their activities to whip up sectarianism. “Sectarianism that has been there for 62 years (since the creation of Pakistan), they stoked it again,” he told reporters in Islamabad. Warning that militants would launch attacks again “wherever there is a vulnerable situation” he said “they are using it as a weapon to terrorise people”.

Thousands have been killed in sectarian violence by majority Sunni and minority Shi’ite sects in the past two decades. But Shi’ite violence has largely declined in recent years. Malik said the TTP, al Qaeda and the Sunni Muslim Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), one of the most violent anti-Shi’ite groups with roots in the central Punjab province, were all part of the same organisation. “Lashkar-e-Jhanvi, al Qaeda, TTP; they are one,” he said. “And the TTP are there whenever there is suicide bombing.”

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Reader Comments (6)

  • watchdog from UK
    Sep 4, 2010 - 2:35PM

    Rahman Malik has dismally failed to provide security to the cities of Pakistan. After each carnage and wave of target killings in Karachi and other cities occurs he appears from the horizon and fires oft repeated sentences. When there are target killings in Karachi, which has become the norm of the day, and every one knows he lands in Karachi and, without any investigations, puts the blame on militants from Waziristan. Those who are apprehended are released on his orders to placate his allies.

    As far as he is holding the interior ministry peace will never return to Karachi or the other citiesRecommend

  • M Mustafa
    Sep 4, 2010 - 2:45PM

    Mr. Rehman Malik be more open. Speak of the problem openly, only then a solution can be found.Recommend

  • Eeman
    Sep 4, 2010 - 3:10PM

    So? Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Sep 4, 2010 - 5:54PM

    Sir, you surely know who are Pro-Taliban so what is stopping you to nab them and their “Silent Supporters” ? If there is any hitch then kindly come up openly so that you may get some public help and support. Reveal all. Remember that they have killed the only leader which could have taken us all out of this mess. Please do something for the sake of most able leader of this sub continent Madam Benazir Bhutto (Shaheed). She is waiting to know who were behind her untimely death. If you are unable to expose openly all these elements then it is better for you to step down like a good gentleman.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Sep 5, 2010 - 1:25AM

    Strange land Pakistan. LeJ is bad, LeT is good. One letter makes all the difference.Recommend

  • Sep 5, 2010 - 1:42AM

    Well Malik needs to be more open and declare the Mullahs as enemies of Pakistan and go after them wholesaleRecommend

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